Page 2585 - Week 07 - Thursday, 2 August 2018

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Thursday, 2 August 2018

MADAM SPEAKER (Ms J Burch) took the chair at 10 am, made a formal recognition that the Assembly was meeting on the lands of the traditional custodians, and asked members to stand in silence and pray or reflect on their responsibilities to the people of the Australian Capital Territory.

Betting Operations Tax Bill 2018

Mr Barr, pursuant to notice, presented the bill, its explanatory statement and a Human Rights Act compatibility statement.

Title read by Clerk.

MR BARR (Kurrajong—Chief Minister, Treasurer, Minister for Economic Development and Minister for Tourism and Major Events) (10.01): I move:

That this bill be agreed to in principle.

I present to the Assembly the Betting Operations Tax Bill 2018. This bill establishes the legislative framework for the implementation of a new point of consumption betting tax in the ACT. The bill provides for a new act to tax gambling occurring in the ACT from 1 January 2019.

Under existing arrangements, betting taxes are levied at the point of supply, such as where the betting operator is located. However, shifts in technology and tastes have led to growth in the market for online betting. Suppliers who offer online services to customers in other jurisdictions are not captured by traditional point of supply legislation.

This means that online gambling suppliers based in low or no-tax jurisdictions are currently avoiding tax payments on a large number of betting transactions. Jurisdictions are unable to use this tax revenue to support gambling harm reduction where it occurs. This also puts traditional betting operators, who are taxed at the point of supply, at a competitive disadvantage.

A majority of Australia’s states and territories have agreed to address this through implementing a point of consumption tax with a harmonised base and collection framework across jurisdictions. From January 2019, six of the eight Australian jurisdictions will have implemented point of consumption gambling taxes. The tax will be levied where the bet is placed; that is, at the place of consumption. This model better aligns taxation with the location where the social costs of gambling occur.

South Australia and Queensland have already implemented point of consumption taxes. Western Australia, Victoria and New South Wales have announced plans to introduce similar legislation to commence from 1 January 2019. Jurisdictions have taken this shared approach because it will create a more level playing field between online and in-person betting operators when it comes to the tax that they pay.

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